My life’s journey filled with joy and trial.
I was 17 years old when I first met Jesus Christ my Lord.
My life was filled with sparkle, peace, joy in one accord.
I found my Saviour, He won my love.
Spiritual hunger and thirst poured from above!
Yearning for Him and His Word controlled my being,
this new found love in me an unstoppable yearning.
Unknowingly His Spirit lead me and taught me.
How can He love me so unconditionally?
That He frees me from all sin, guilt and shame.
Intense work through His Spirit in me develops.
The look in my eyes, the feeling in my heart, suddenly everything so fresh.
I was new and innocent but life would surprise me.
Excited for what I experienced inside of me,
I greet everyday with friendliness and cheerfulness
For I have met my Beloved so full of holiness.
My name now in the Book of Life as I am forgiven.
My thoughts changed through the yearning for His Word.
Sanctification follows to prepare me,
“For less of me and more of Thee.”
My first love, Him who stirs and work in me,
My spirit, my soul, my body, everywhere inside is He.
Unrighteousness forgiven and my sins washed away.
The Blood of Jesus, the full price for me He paid.
He left me blameless, set my feet on this NEW way.
Changing and forming my character to reflect His own.
Into His plan, His destiny and dream I have grown
Deep purification for He has come to dwell in me.
His Spirit works uninterrupted in me everyday.
My life is renewed for He came to free me from sin.
My eyes saw flowers, my ears heard music,
my mouth wanted to laugh, my feet couldn’t help but dance.
I could face whatever life had to offer with this new chance.
I wanted to share His Love everywhere and to tell,
His love and grace can save us all from hell,
He changes lifes and offers relationship with Him.
He fills our lifes with joy and love and peace.
I was unashamed of Him because He has power to save
Yes, to save from destruction, failure and grave.
My whole being was filled with an urgent prayer;
“Please Lord, save also my friends, my nation and family”,
believing that His love and grace was not just for me,
my passion for souls want to see them all set free.
My heart was urging with love and passion for Him.
I had to learn there is an appointed time for everything.
Every heart must be prepared to receive Salvation,
which flows from His love and mercy so lovingly.
Nobody comes to the Father unless drawn by His Spirit,
to raise everyone through His power to eternal life.
“Help them Father to find the way to Your sovereignty!
My heart cries out that they will serve You for all eternity!
Blow over each one of them with the power of Your Breath,
lovingly leading them from being creation to childhood.
The tide in our lifes has turned suddenly,
When pain and affliction came to test our trueness.
The laughter and the song changed to frowning,
this time my heart bounced as a result of shock and anxiety.
The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in need of anything?
His goodness and mercy would follow us is His promise.
Why then do we have to endure so much pain now?
Rejection and ridicule is what the new phase would teach us.
Nothing that we did or prayed would stop the trials!
Why then my King and my Lord,
when You are able to prevent all of these?
“As it was with Me in this life, so it shall be with you also…”
I realized this reality when I read the words of my Lord!
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you,
through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
nor shall the flame kindle on you”
I never expected that my heart will bleed someday!
Confusion and questions wrestled in my heart and mind.
“My God, my God why have You forsaken us?”
The words of my Saviour in His hour of death,
have now also became my husband’s and mine!
From victory and joy and innocent laughter,
suddenly intense pain and sorrow awaited us.
From favour and miracles learned as spiritual babies,
followed relationship tests now grinding and scoring,
with rejection and ridicule of people frowning and staring;
“Where is your God when you are in so much pain?”
Little did we know that our loving Potter is leading,
to the wheel of character forming and moulding.
“When I experienced it and I trembled in myself ,
so that I might rest in the day of trouble….”
Would I be able to say the words of prophet Habakuk?
“Though the fig tree shall not blossom,
and fruit is not on the vines,
the labor of the olive fails,
and the fields yield no food,
the flock is cut off from the fold,
and no herd is in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in Jehovah,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
the Lord is my strength,
and He will make my feet like hinds’ feet,”
He says that rejoicing must ‘always’ be my heartbeat!
That I will receive victory and peace from Him only.
Circumstances can never determine my position in Him,
Storm and wind do not easily overwhelm His children.
Unconditional love covenant between Him and me.
Faithful will You always be when I rejoice in Thee!
Three precious children from Father we receive,
after two miscarriages for which we grieve.
Tears made way for joy over every newcomer in our lifes.
So grateful for every little bundle we could hold in our arms.
To care and to share His love with them was all we wanted.
To teach them to honour their Creator, as parents our aim
For years everything so normal, no stress nor shame!
so full of love and friendship, peace and nursing,
dreams and plans, tests and trials, but then victory again.
Then one day, we had to face our greatest test!
Will He make a way out of this unbelievable pain?
Distress grabbed hold of us, our eldest son got hurt,
and left us feeling like broken wing bird!
We prayed and believed that He would bring deliverance.
Five days in intensive care, crying out with hopeful utterance.
“O Father God, will you please come to our rescue?”
Thursday 18th March 1993 we had to say farewell!
My heart shrunk up for the pain and wrestling so harsh.
To leave our son on his bed and walk away was utterly hell!
Do we now have to pay for some unknown major sin?
How can you ever tell the cruel reality to someone else?
A new beginning awaited all the friends and family!
With bleeding emotions we had to drive back home.
Inside all of us we felt devastated and alone!
I felt too scared to think and to scared to talk,
everything felt so empty, a painful road to walk!
Knowing an enormous battle awaits us as a family.
The weight inside of each of us too heavy to bear.
O Lord my God it just feels so unfair?
Sleep made me afraid, waking up shined on reality!
Every new day outlined the truth of his absence.
His clothes, his toys, his last homework in his room!
We hear him, feel him, see the evidence of him everywhere!
We are looking, searching, longing, for his smell is still there.
“O Lord my God, will we ever adapt to this new life,
is this really us, is it true, is this real, why us Lord?”
Struggles inside wants to overwhelm my husband and I,
but His Spirit flows streams of peace through our hearts.
When pain and longing overshadows our mind
Holy Spirit our Comforter leaves comfort behind,
leading and guiding to bring us to rest in this painful test!
Though it was so painfulI we sought help from Him,
the only One who knew the beginning from the end.
To Him who was and is, as family, we humbly bend.
“With Your strength O Lord, we can endure!
Your trials and tests, consuming fire to make us pure!
Let Your Kingdom come, let Your will be done!
As You have promised in Your Word,
All things will work together for our good.
“Even when we go through the valley of death,
You will be with us, You promise always to be near.
You comfort and encourage us not to fear.”
We have experienced pieces of Job’s story
our loss and pain is for a greater glory!
Days and nights, like Jacob we wrestled,
to Him we prayed, we pleaded and cried!
In the shadow of His wings did we hide.
Still I believe at times with us, He silently wept.
Silver is being tried in a very harsh heat,
from self and vanity we will be freed.
We have been sifted by an unseen enemy
while our Lord have been helping and praying
in order for His Image to be seen in us,
God Almighty our only hiding place,
our desire to see Him face to face!
He knew the plans He had for us,
plans to prosper not to harm us,
plans to give us hope in our final outcome.
Not by might nor by power,
by His Spirit we overcome!
His glory will fill our the earth
as was foretold in His Word,
if only we will stay faithful in our suffering,
in His greater Glory we’ll be sharing.
Elsabie van der Westhuizen (10 October 2013)
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